Designer of the Week - bug*n*belle

Name: Tanya

Where do you live: Southern Oregon

How old are you? 34

Do you have any children, if so what ages? S? Three year-old son, two year-old daughter and baby on the way in April.

Current auctions: bug*n*belle

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1. When did you get started sewing and creating? Who taught you?

I sewed my first item when I was five (a shirt for my little sister) and have been sewing ever since. My passion for sewing resulted in doll clothes when I was in elementary school, a brief stint making Teddy Bears and selling them at holiday Bazaars in high school, and all forms of sewing and crafting as an adult. I started Bug n' Belle after receiving enthusiastic responses to the blankets and other items I was making for my friends' baby showers.

2. When did you start selling your designs on eBay? Do you sell anywhere else besides eBay, if so where? (example, web site, local boutique) What did you do before eBay?

I listed my first handcrafted item, a swaddling blanket, in February 2004. I listed my first boutique outfit in Fall 2004. Besides selling on ebay I also have an online store in the works at my website www.bugnbelle.com and I sell at some local boutiques here in Oregon and am in the process of selling to some other online boutiques and boutiques in other parts of the country.

2a. Do you remember the first outfit you sold on eBay. Do you have a picture? What was it and what did it sell for?

The first outfit I sold on ebay was my harvest patchwork dress. It was sold as a ready made outfit and went for $40.52! I was so thrilled it even sold.

3. How did you decide upon your name?

My son is my little "bug" and my daughter is my little "belle".

4. Do you belong to any boutique group and if so which one? How did you get started in that group? What do you like most about your particular group?

I am a founding member of Lil Peas. I started the group with deannas*designs*boutique and miss*priss*boutique* in fall 2004. The three of us were friends from the boards at www.thebabywhisperer.com and all got into handcrafting and selling our goods on ebay at about the same time. We'd talk about it a lot and finally decided to start our own design group. We got the name "Lil Peas" because we all have daughters the same age they are our Lil Peas in a Pod. Ironically all of the members we have added to the group also have had daughters within a couple months age of our daughters, we joke now that that is a membership requirement.

What I love about my group is that we are friends and comrades first. There is such a great collaborative spirit and everyone is very supportive of each other. I couldn't ask for a better group of designers to work with.

5. What is your favorite thing to create? (example: vintage style dresses, totes, overalls, etc) Why?

I love doing the baby stuff because I feel like my swaddling blanket is such a great product. But blankets get boring after a while and dabbling in clothing has given me a fun creative outlet. I try to create clothing I would put on my own child, fun, functional stuff. I have done a little bit of everything from overalls to lounge sets to dresses. I will probably continue to offer designs of different sorts as I find fabric that inspires me.

6. What are your favorite types of fabrics or fabric designers?

I usually use cotton poplin fabrics that can be easily washed. Like many of the designers on ebay I love Michael Miller and Amy Buttler. I have also been inspired by several fabrics from In the Beginning and various Moda designers. Right now I'm pondering several yards of Seaside Rose from Three Sisters. It is so beautiful and I have so many ideas I can't commit to cutting into it yet.

7. Where and when do you do most of your sewing? Are you neat about it or do you have fabric covering the floor!

My sewing room is the office/guestroom. I try to be neat about it but storage is an issue and sometimes the whole thing gets away from me. Luckily my mother comes to visit every month or so and it forces me to clean it all up! My dream is to have a room that is actually designed as my "studio" with lots of work space and storage…maybe someday!

8. What other things do you enjoy besides sewing?

I love to craft anything. Now that my little ones are getting older I've been trying to incorporate craft activities into our daily play, the holidays always provide a good opportunity to make something for the Grandmas. I used to be an avid scrapbooker but now that sewing has taken over I usually reserve that for weekend retreats and conventions. My husband is a weekend warrior so he often has us off on adventures skiing, boating, and playing in sun.

9. Anything else you would like to add?

After a year of selling on ebay I am so grateful that I have come to know others in the design community. They are fun, creative, caring group of women and I have enjoyed their company and support. It's hard to explain to others how I can know these people so well yet never have met them. Yet I feel like I know so many so well.

Some past bug*n*belle Designs

To view past Designers of the Week Click Here

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